Desolation Lake & Dog Lake Loop via Wasatch Crest Trail is a 9.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is best used from May until October.

9.7 miles
2,365 feet


mountain biking




wild flowers



Go on ODD days to avoid mountain bikers. On even days they have the run of the place and it absolutely shows in the trail. This takes you up to the Wasatch Ridgeline which offers spectacular views until you eventually drop down into Desolation Lake. There are lots of bugs in this portion of the trail, so head out early and bring some spray. From Desolation, you head to Dog Lake, then take the trail from there to get back to the parking area. This hike cuts into Big Cottonwood, so you won't be able to take your dog through this loop. It's great for mountain biking and hiking. Parking fills up FAST, especially on weekends. Be no later than 7am to grab a spot, or plan on some extra trekking up a bit of asphalt to get to the trailhead.

26 days ago

Great trail for the pup. Played in lake and gorgeous fall colors. We took the shorter steeper route. Good Steady incline.

1 month ago

If you don’t head to desolation lake you can bring your furry friend. There are two options to get to dog lake. The big and little trails. However to contrary the little trail is shorter in distance but a steeper incline and runs along a flowing river. It’s under two miles if you take the little trail. The big portion has breathtaking views of mountains and flowers and this trail rings in longer at about 2.4 Miles it’s easy to get turned around on the big trail with some of the forks. Once you arrive, Dog lake is beautiful and truly a dogs playground. I wouldn’t call this trail that easy, it’s definitely a moderate +. Enjoy a lunch or snack, and don’t forget a ball or frisbee for the pooch!

3 months ago

Tip: Go on an odd day, if hiking. This will avoid bikers for a good portion of this loop. Also, go on a weekday before 5pm or before 7am on a weekend to get decent parking.

The trail up Old Red Pine Road is beautiful -- lots of flowers. It also has very few people, especially compared to neighboring trailheads like the one to Dog Lake. I did this on a Saturday at 8am and saw only a couple other people on the Red Pine Road portion of the hike.

Turning to the Wasatch Crest trail is where I started to see traffic, mostly mountain bikers, all headed downhill (while you're going up). Go on odd days to reduce the number of bikers you run into. The views in this stretch are breathtaking. To your left is Park City and you can see to the east for about 160 degrees. To your right are great views of Millcreek, Big Cottonwood Canyon, and the Great Salt Lake beyond. This is the highest elevation, I maxed out at about 9800ft.

After veering off to Desolation Lake, you head downhill and it's absolutely stunning. The colors of the water were shades of blue and green with hints of red from the rock below. The flies were everywhere. The earlier you get here, the better. Between Desolation and Dog Lake, you have a gentle grade downhill, then back up. The uphill portion is NOT a rock scramble like I thought it might be. It was quite nice.

From there, it's impossible to get lost as you rejoin the throngs of hikers, most of which are hiking back to the parking area. The trail here is extremely well marked.

Nature stuff I saw: Snake, adorable ground rodents, deer, and so. many. doggos. at. Dog Lake.

2 months ago

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Saturday, October 15, 2016